Locke on Individuation and Identity

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Abstract

Locke claims that spatiotemporal existence is the principle of individuation. This claim has been criticized on two grounds. In the seventeenth century, John Sergeant argued that Locke’s principle of individuation may be useful in daily life, but leaves unanswered the fundamental question of what individuates objects. In the twentieth century, Peter Strawson argued that even if spatiotemporal existence is the principle of individuation, it is a principle we will never be able to apply. I argue that the first criticism rests on a confusion about what a principle of individuation should do, and suggest that the second problem can at least be mitigated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Lockean Mind
EditorsJessica Gordon-Roth, Shelley Weinberg
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter26
Pages237-243
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781315099675
ISBN (Print)9781138296909
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31-Aug-2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Philosophical Minds

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